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The Renewal of the Church Starts with You

As more people turn away from the Church, the call for genuine renewal grows louder. But where should this renewal begin?

A conference of German theologians sought to find initial answers. On May 31st, a symposium titled "The Renewal of the Church" was held in Rome.

The organizer of the conference Professor Ralph Weimann explained, “The aim of this symposium is to look anew at Christ, because all renewal can only come from Jesus Christ. And he is the newness par excellence. If we open ourselves to him and let him in − open the doors wide to Christ, as St. John Paul said at the beginning of his pontificate ­− then we will also enable a renewal of the Church. This in turn is linked to the renewal of faith.

The symposium was organized by the "Societas Theologiae Ecclesiasticae," part of the German association "Fundatio Christiana Virtus."

Explaining the program of the conference, Professor Weimann said, “It started with Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke who spoke about how important it is that we are based on our tradition and start from what Christ has handed down to us and then renew the church on this basis. Then there is a moral dimension. Professor Bormann pointed this out in his speech. He underlined that we have to adapt our lives to the present. Professor Nass pointed out that renewal also addresses social life and that our lives should change as a result. And Julia Denzel provided insights into how this can be achieved, especially among young people.”

Markus Graulich, a member of the association and undersecretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts, emphasized what the first step towards renewal must be.

He pointed to Mother Teresa as an example. “Mother Teresa,” he noted, “got to the heart of what renewal of the church means. When asked what needs to change in the church, she answered spontaneously: You and me.”

It is therefore possible that the Church will also be renewed, as Christ already announced in the Bible: “Behold, I make all things new!” (Revelation 21:6)

Adapted by Jacob Stein 

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